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October 28, 2020

Fall Conference Speaker Says Workplace D&I Efforts Need Courage to Succeed

Noted workforce diversity and inclusion (D&I) consultant Daisy Auger-Dominguez focused on the importance of putting workplace D&I polices into practice during the Opening General Session of the virtual 2020 ACEC Fall Conference on Wednesday.

Auger-Dominguez, Chief people officer at Vice Media Group pointed to a national workforce study that ranked D&I as the number one priority for CEOs.

“This has been a priority for years, yet company leaders are painfully aware that their efforts are still coming up short,” she said.

Auger-Dominguez cited how evolving attitudes toward pay equity, the Me Too movement, gender equality, and other social issues have contributed to toxic workplace attitudes. “There is more discussion on D&I now, but workforce cultures remain the same,” she said.

She highlighted workforce surveys that shows companies with diverse and equitable workforces are 33 percent to more likely outperform their competition and more likely to be innovative leaders in their industries.

Yet, she said, many company leaders are confused about what successful D&I in the workplace really entails, asking her “How can I ask my team to support and advance something they can’t even see?”

“It takes courage to dismantle inequity in the workplace,” she said, adding that it’s critical for company leaders ensure that staff members believe they belong and are in a safe place to express their opinions.

“We need to build proximity with the people and communities we are not familiar with,” she said. “Company leaders should also get in the habit of hearing about individual experiences of their team members.”

She also advised leaders to repair the damage when it happens and to rebuild trust. “It’s not easy and ‘one and done’ quick fixes do not work” she said. “It requires a lifelong effort.”

The 2020 virtual ACEC Fall Conference is taking place from October 28th to Friday, October 30th. Other program highlights will include keynote presentations by New York Times bestselling author Ben Nemtin and noted political analyst Charlie Cook.

All comments to blog posts will be moderated by ACEC staff.


October 28, 2020



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